DiverseCity Counts

DiverseCity Counts

  • These pages house research reports and tools on diversity in leadership. Some of these have been produced for or commissioned by the DiverseCity project. Others come from organizations around the world whose work we admire.

    Some stats on diversity in leadership in the Toronto region:

    • 14.5% of leaders in the Toronto region are visible minorities vs. 49.5% of the population surveyed
    • diversity in leadership has grown by 8% since 2009
    • government agencies, elected officials and the education sector have consistently come out on top
    • the corporate sector remains at the bottom at 4.2%
    • organizations that track levels of diversity in their leadership tend to perform best


    Source: DiverseCity Counts Reports

  • DiverseCity Counts features research that studies the levels and impact of diversity in leadership. It sheds light on the representation of visible minorities and under-represented immigrants across sectors and reveals to us where progress is being made and where we’re falling behind.


    DiverseCity Counts 8

    This research, the eighth report in our DiverseCity Counts series, is conducted by Dr. Samir Sinha of Mount Sinai Hospital and the University Health Network Hospitals. It examines diversity on boards and in senior management of health care institutions in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Specifically, we look at local health integration networks (LHINs), hospitals, and community care access centres (CCACs). While past reports have focused on visible minorities, this edition broadens the scope of diversity to include sex/gender identity, visible minorities, disability, and sexual orientation.


    DiverseCity Counts 7

    DiverseCity contracted Nanos Research to conduct a first-time public opinion poll of residents in municipalities across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) on the topic of diversity in leadership.


    DiverseCity Counts 6

    The next frontier for diversity: new report explores supplier diversity in the GTA. The latest DiverseCity Counts research, by Dr. Paul D. Larson, CN Professor of Supply Chain Management at the University of Manitoba, examines whether, why and how organizations have embraced diversity in their purchasing and supply chain strategies, policies and practices.


    DiverseCity Counts 5

    This report takes a closer look at the nonprofit sector and finds that the more diverse a board, the better it works. The report includes a number of recommendations for organizations that wish to strengthen their board, including understanding and communicating the benefits of leadership diversity and aligning diversity efforts to the organization’s mission and mandate.


    DiverseCity Counts 4

    This report takes a closer look at elected office. The Diversity Gap: The Electoral Under-Representation of Visible Minorities finds that while they comprise 40% of the Greater Toronto Area population, only 11% of those elected to office are visible minorities.


    DiverseCity Counts 3

    The 2011 report took a unique look at the legal sector. It found that just 6.8 per cent of leaders (judges, governing bodies and law school leaders and law partners and crown attorneys) in the GTA legal sector were visible minorities compared to 14.4 per cent of a talent pool of practising visible minority lawyers in the GTA. While 6.6 per cent of partners at the biggest law firms were visible minorities, 8.3 per cent of judges were visible minorities.


    DiverseCity Counts 2

    The 2010 report took a special look at the news media that are most consumed by GTA residents. As in the corporate sector generally, visible minorities are under-represented on boards and among senior executives of large media corporations.


    DiverseCity Counts 1

    For the 2009 report, the Diversity Institute at Ryerson University analyzed a total of 3,257 leaders in Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Markham and Richmond Hill including elected officials, public sector executives, members of agencies, boards and commissions, as well as a sample of the largest voluntary and business organizations as determined by revenue. The results indicated that, as of March 2009, visible minorities are under-represented in the senior-most leadership positions in the GTA. Just 13% of leaders we analyzed are visible minorities.

  • The Business Case for Diverse Leadership

    Leaders play a pivotal role, and their impact is felt in everything from strategic decision making to organizational and community effectiveness and ultimately financial performance. Diverse leaders bring added benefits and unique capacities that, when realized, add significant value in both the public and private realm.

    Five of the most important benefits of diverse leadership are:

    • Improved financial and organizational performance;
    • Increased capacity to link to new global and domestic markets;
    • Expanded access to global and domestic talent pools;
    • Enhanced innovation and creativity; and
    • Strengthened cohesion and social capital.


    Source: Conference Board of Canada report: The Value of Diverse Leadership

    Other sections:

  • In this section, you will find a wide range of toolkits and tip sheets to diversify leadership – whether in your organization or on your board.

  • What is DiverseCity: The Greater Toronto Leadership Project?

    DiverseCity: The Greater Toronto Leadership Project is the combined work of Maytree and the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance. Our project is made up of a group of initiatives led by a steering committee of prominent individuals who recognize the value and potential of diversity in leadership for the region’s social and economic prosperity. They have come together to support and develop solutions that will address the under-representation of ethnic and racial groups in leadership positions in the GTA.

    What do you mean by “leader”?

    We define leaders as people who work or volunteer in public, private or voluntary sector positions that:

    • are symbolically important to a city in the GTA, or to the region as a whole;
    • give them influence in the decision-making arena; and/or provide them with decision-making powers within their organization, their sector, or across sectors that allow them to make decisions which affect people living in the city.

    Leaders may include: executives, political representatives, board members and senior public servants.

    Who are the under-represented ethnic and racial leaders?

    For the purpose of the DiverseCity Project, under-represented ethnic and racial leaders include  visible minorities as defined by the federal Employment Equity Act and as used by Statistics Canada. This term refers to any person who is non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour. For example, a person may belong to a visible minority if they are:

    • Chinese
    • South Asian (e.g.,  Indian, Pakistani, Punjabi, Sri Lankan)
    • Black (e.g., African, Haitian, Jamaican, Somali)
    • Arab/West Asian (e.g., Armenian, Egyptian, Iranian, Lebanese, Moroccan)
    • Filipino
    • South East Asian (e.g., Cambodian, Indonesian, Laotian, Vietnamese)
    • Latin American
    • Japanese
    • Korean

    We also reach out to individuals who do not consider themselves visible minorities but who belong to an ethnic group that research has indicated is under-represented in leadership positions. This would include members of immigrant communities.

    Does your project address the under-representation of Aboriginal Peoples?

    This project is focused primarily on visible minorities and under-represented ethnic groups.

    Aboriginal peoples have their own history and experience of exclusion which is unique from that experienced by immigrants and their descendents in Canada. Looking at the issues of ethnic groups as separate from Aboriginal groups is consistent with the practice of many other organizations. For example, Aboriginal Canadians are not visible minorities (as defined by the Employment Equity Act). Statistics Canada’s Ethnic Diversity Study does not include aboriginal peoples. A separate survey has been created called the Aboriginal Peoples Survey.

    While the DiverseCity Project does not explicitly seek to address the under-representation of Aboriginal people in this project, it does welcome the participation of Aboriginal people in the DiverseCity onBoard and DiverseCity Fellows initiatives.

    How do we know that some ethnic and racial groups are under-represented in leadership?

    According to research conducted by Ryerson University in 2009, visible minorities represented only 13% of leadership positions in the GTA, compared with 49.5% of the population under study. This research is updated annually. For current facts and figures, please see the most recent DiverseCity Counts report.

    Does this project discriminate against Caucasian Canadians?

    Absolutely not. The DiverseCity Project is about providing equal opportunity to all people in the Greater Toronto Region.

    The principle of providing opportunities to disadvantaged groups is found in legislation which protects Canadians against discrimination. For example:

    Part I of the Ontario Human Rights code protects all people in the province of Ontario from discrimination on the basis of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, family status or handicap.

    Part 14-1 allows organizations or employers to create special programs “designed to achieve or attempt to achieve equal opportunity if that is likely to contribute to the elimination of the infringement of rights under Part I.”

    Section 15 of The Charter of Rights and Freedoms states that “Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.” This “does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.”

    Is this a project about the City of Toronto or the GTA?

    The DiverseCity Project is about the GTA as a whole, but some initiatives may target particular municipalities or particular regions within the GTA. The initiatives will each specify whether they are focused on:

    • City of Toronto
    • Region of Toronto – the Census Metropolitan Area as defined by Statistics Canada
    • Greater Toronto Area – the planning area which includes the City of Toronto, Regional Municipalities of York, Halton, Peel and Durham

    What will success look like, and how will it be measured?

    By 2013, the DiverseCity Project has changed the leadership landscape in the following ways:

    • 300 senior level executives created new networks across ethnic and racial groups;
    • More than 100 rising leaders were equipped to collaborate across sectors to address pressing civic challenges;
    • Over 640 leaders from under-represented ethnic and racial backgrounds were appointed to agencies, boards and commissions; 90 diverse leaders are ready to participate in political processes as candidates and campaign managers; and 300 diverse leaders have been identified to speak to the media on a range of issues (not just diversity).

    In addition, we hope to encourage broader societal change. As we articulate the social and economic importance of leadership diversity for the GTA we will measure the extent to which  public, private and voluntary sectors reflect the diversity of the population.